/ NEWS: Ice Axes on Eurostar Trains
Eurostar has a policy of not allowing certain items that could be used as weapons...
Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=52717
Hmm was this is a case of don't ask and just get on with it.....
(and so now there is extra hassle caused by drawing attention and clarification)
Or were people actually having problems in practice.
There has been some discussion on the Eagle Ski Club mailing list regarding this since about October last year.
Eventually the ESC, together with the BMC and CC wrote to Eurostar in the hope of having this rule relaxed. Eurostar replied that the rules were in place for a reason and would not be changed.
It's a shame, as being able to carry your luggage on board made the train a viable alternative to flying and so was an excellent option for those concerned about their 'carbon footprint'. Those of us who want convenient, reliable and relatively low-stress transportation will continue to use our cars.
Last time it happened they unpacked my whole kit bag, when we got to my ice axes, I said something like "it'll be these you're after", but no, those were fine they said and kept on looking, finally finding the offending item - a small penknife!
One of the huge advantages of the Eurostar is that it wasn't governed to the same security standards as airlines, if they take that away they will start to lose business.
Presumably their concern is that the ice axe can be used to threaten the train driver, hijack the train and crash it into a building full of innocents!
What are camping tools? Are burners (ie the stove minus the cylinders) also banned? The security staff at Liverpool and Stansted airports wouldn't let me take mine on the plane, although Easyjet said it was ok.
This world is getting crazy... what if you remove the picks?
I used to walk or catch the bus to ju jitsu with a sword (in a scabbard and then tied in a purpose made bag so it could not be drawn) and other weapons wrapped in my belt at the bottom of my bag with other stuff on top of it numerous times a week in 1980s manchester. I doubt you would get away with that now.
My one experience was the same. Once they saw they were ice axes and understood their purpose I was waived through (a bit bizarre really). I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has actually been stopped from boarding. Eurostar and then the weekend sleeper from Paris is a more pleasant and responsible way of travelling to Chamonix than either flying or car.
Airlines and now Eurostar... supposed security measures intended to increase revenue.
Take airlines for instance, you can't carry a pair of tweezers in hand luggage but buying a glass bottle of spirits in duty free just before boarding the plane is ok...which is more dangerous?
While you get away with it, it's always going to be a niggle at the back of your mind though.
> Airlines and now Eurostar... supposed security measures intended to increase revenue.
> Take airlines for instance, you can't carry a pair of tweezers in hand luggage but buying a glass bottle of spirits in duty free just before boarding the plane is ok...which is more dangerous?
compared to getting metal cutlery in business/first class...neither
as you say, simply a revenue measure masked as a security measure.
I would understand if there was a persistent problem and I would expect them to take up the issue on climbers behalf. The last few post seem to suggest that this isn't the case.
personal opinion here, but things often work better if there is not and official policy statement, procedural document or other BS.
People should just be left to get on with life.
I once had a similar experience on a ferry. I was going on as a foot passenger, but heading to the alps so had climbing kit with me. They clearly had never seen ice axes before (it was the Rosyth to Zeebrugge ferry), they asked me whether I used them in the Ochils much! They ummed and arred for a while about what to do, then settled on saying I could board so long as I didn't let the bags out of my site for the entire (18hour) journey. They seemed to be more concerned about the risk of "some nutter" getting access to my lethal weapons and staging a massacre of the old biddies listening to the Dire Straits cover band (who were dire) in the lounge bar than about the risk that I might be a nutter.
I will continue travelling by train, I'm not going to the hassle of booking a bag in, if I have any problems I'll report back on here. I suspect I won't.
I actually don't agree that this is a revenue generator for airlines. One of the advantages of business class used to be taking 2 pieces of carry on luggage and far fewer are paying the premium for BC now since that other for a trip for a couple of nights you are going to end up waiting for luggage at arrivals.
Went once with mate who had his axe strapped on the outside of his rucksack, but he put a sock over the end so that was fine apparently!
A few years ago I actually phoned to clarify the rules about pointy things and stoves and was told to talk to the manager on duty, which left things a bit in the air. Got away with it (again) that time, but the uncertainty of whether I would get the stuff on was a bit stressful. I was always surprised at the laxness of the rules at the time.
I would therefore recommend checking the current rules (link above) before you travel or me prepared to lose some stuff.
Although if you need 1-2 hours to book in your bag there goes one real advantage of Eurostar over planes of being able to just turn up and go without hanging about for hours.
Does anyone know if there is a way of booking your luggage on in advance so you don't need to be there?
Excellent idea, if it's possible. The numptees on the xrays won't even know what the shafts are. Put the picks in a separate bag or perhaps in the middle of your rack and they might not even spot them on the xray.
Haven't had problems in the past though have had bags searched a few times. Last time I travelled on Eurostar was last summer, so perhaps the rules have been tightened up since then.
I had an experience where I was travelling to France and had an axe in my bag. The security guys were very reasonable and suggested I check the item as suggested in the article. They even walked me back out through passport control so I could do this. All very helpful.
However, you should note that if you are taking one of the first few trains out, the office that allows you to check such items in is not open yet. I had the choice of either waiting for a later train or relinquishing the item. As I had bookings on connecting trains in Paris and also was going on a course with a fixed arrival time I had to leave it there :(
I also asked about "camping tools" & was told that it was ok to take a tent as camping tools refers to gas cannisters & cutlery - both of which are listed in their own right on the list of prohibited items.
I guess it all depends on which individual member of Eurostar staff checks your bag, but by flagging this up we are hopefully alerting climbers to be aware of the issue and to plan accordingly.
Cutlery? OK, just leave yours at home and nick some from the buffet car on the train. After all, can't leave it lying around for a deranged passenger to attack you with.
The man in seat 61 (http://www.seat61.com/) says try Harwich-Hook of Holland to get to Switzerland and I'll post the results if I find anything interesting - overnight on boat and 'good rail connections' the other side.
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